Former Utility Workers Union of America officials charged with embezzlement, conspiracy

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Two former officials of a utility workers union have been indicted for embezzlement and conspiracy, according to documents unsealed this morning.

John Vetterly Jr., of Avalon, who public records indicate is 52 years old, was the president of Utility Workers Union of America Local 475, according to the indictment. John Baranski, 53, of Boardman, Ohio, was secretary-treasurer.

The two were entitled to payment by the union for wages they lost while on union business, according to the indictment. From 2006 though 2008, the two caused the union to write checks to each of them for reimbursement for lost wages when, in fact, they had worked for private employers and were paid for that time, the grand jury alleged.

Mr. Vetterly also had the union reimburse him for his family's cable TV bills and for his family members' cell phone bills, according to the indictment.

They also tapped union funds for dinners for themselves, "their wives and others," the grand jury alleged.

Mr. Vetterly, according to the grand jury, diverted $26,605 of union money for personal uses. Mr. Baranski is accused of diverting $4,246.

Neither man could be reached for immediate comment. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Mark Hornak.

breaking - region - businessnews

Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord First Published October 9, 2013 6:42 AM


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